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Scot McCloughan: Why Kirk Cousins started over RGIII, Redskins will be fine without long-term deal

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Scot McCloughan recently appeared on Bleacher Report radio with Jason Cole. In the two short clips provided by SiriusXM, he talks about not being able to get a long-term deal done with QB Kirk Cousins before the deadline, saying the organization will be fine. He was also asked about the moment he knew Kirk Cousins needed to start. I have transcribed the quick exchanges below.

Jason Cole: Now that you’re at this point, is there any fear on your part that Kirk is going to be uptight, nervous, anxious, as he plays out this one-year, and won’t handle it well. Or what gives you confidence to believe that that won’t happen going forward?

Scot McCloughan: You know what, it’s unique. This is my second offseason since taking the job. Of course last year we had Robert here who was named the starter and just see how Kirk did, how Colt McCoy did, both of them. But to see this offseason with Kirk being the guy for sure at quarterback for us, understand he signed the tender for us day one. To see his leadership, to see his confidence, and see the players respond to him, I feel very positive about it. Of course I think on both sides we’d like to get a long-term deal done prior to the deadline, but it didn’t happen. But you know what, he’s a pro, he shows up every day. We’re going to be fine, we’re going to be fine and hopefully he’s our quarterback for a long time going forward. He’s a good quality person, he’s a good football player, and the players respect him.

Jason Cole: Let me turn away from the contract, there was a point in time where you saw, I think it was during training camp, may have been even in the offseason program, where you saw the ability in Kirk that made you believe in him. Do you remember the exact moment when you said this kids got it and this is the direction we need to go?

Scot McCloughan: Ya, you know the thing is it first started Jason, I scouted him his last year in college and really liked him. I liked the demeanor, I liked the makeup, the physical skills and all that. Coming in like I said in my first press conference here, they asked about of course Robert, about Kirk, about Colt. I said listen, I gotta see them live, in person. That’s how you measure a quarterback. You watch the tape all you want, but I want to see how the players respond to him, how the players react to him. You know, what happens when he throws a pick in a preseason game. What’s he do, he go to the sideline, what happens here, there, there.

And of course, meeting and talking to Jay and talking with Sean McVay, our offensive coordinator, and offensive coaches. And just knowing that, you know, it’s not a one man machine, it’s 11s, 11s, 11s. You know, offense, defense, special teams. And just seeing how competitive he was, and Robert is competitive as all get out too, but I think a change had to be made and it happened. And I think it happened for the betterment of the whole organization. Just seeing how the guys responded to him, and seeing his confidence, and competitiveness and toughness during practice, during preseason games. It showed right away.

Dan Steinberg has more from the interview here:

“And there’s a reason why you do franchise them, because you respect their talent and their abilities. But the market’s the market, and some teams will do certain things that throw the market off, so then you’ve got to step back and say ‘Okay, who do we have next year? [Are] there three to five to seven guys that we want to extend prior to the last year of their deal, or do we want to go after one and know we’re going to lose three or four next year?